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Gustav Holst's At the Boar's Head, complete with Falstaff and Prince Hal!

Some of Shakespeare's finest characters meet up with one of England's great composers on The Lyric Stage this Sunday (9/3) at 8 pm.

For his one act opera or melodic interlude, as he called it, At the Boar’s Head, Gustav Holst wrote his own libretto. He assembled the story and dialogue from episodes set at The Boar’s Head Inn from the first two parts of Shakespeare’s Henry the Fourth. For the music, he drew mostly from English folk songs, but added some of his own original music as well. He wrote it in 1924 when he was fifty years old, eight years after completing his best known work, The Planets.

The opera begins with a drinking song and the arrival of Falstaff, and ends with Falstaff leaving to seek out Doll Tearsheet. The action in between between centers around Falstaff and Prince Hal, with other characters from Shakespeare such as Pistol, Doll Tearsheet, and Poins.

John Tomlinson sings Falstaff, Phillip Langridge is Hal,and Felicity Palmer sings Doll. David Atherton conducts the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, and the men of the Royal Philharmonic Choir.

Mike Harrah is host of The Lyric Stage, which airs Sundays at 8 pm.